Bitteroot Fire restrictions
By Moosetrack Megan
Hamilton, Montana – The Darby/Sula Ranger District has announced that Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in place in the Anaconda Pintler Wilderness east of Sula. Stage 1 restrictions prohibit building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove.
Camping stoves (Liquid petroleum) that can be turned on and off are allowed along with a completely contained wood stove within a cabin or wall tent with a fire screen or spark arrester. Such devices can only be used in areas that are barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the device.
Smoking is also prohibited unless in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared or all flammable materials.
Individuals who violate these restrictions can face fines up to $5,000 and six months in jail along with paying suppression costs and damages, if you start a fire. For more information visit http://firerestrictions.us/mt.
The Chute Creek Fire burning in Idaho’s Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness 2.5 miles west of Blodgett Lake grew to 662 acres yesterday. Smoke from the fire was visible from Valley locations and active fire behavior was observed throughout the afternoon. Smoke impacts are likely again today in the Blodgett and Canyon Creek drainages west of Hamilton. Fire managers on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest are working with the Bitterroot NF on long-term plans for this fire including identifying any values at risk in the area. See attached fire photo.
Stage 2 Fire Restrictions remain in place for rest of the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana and here in Ravalli County. This means campfires and all other fires are prohibited along with wood cutting (chainsaws) after 1pm. Smoking is not allowed unless in enclosed vehicles, buildings, or flammable free areas. Camping stoves (liquid petroleum) that can be turned on and off are allowed.
Fire danger on the forest is currently “Extreme”, the highest possible level. Under these conditions fires start quickly, spread furiously and burn intensely. All fires are potentially serious and development into high intensity burning will be faster and occur even on smaller fires. Direct attack is rarely possible and may be dangerous except immediately after ignition
Firefighters have responded to and extinguished 48 wildfires on the Bitterroot National Forest this summer. Due to the quick response of crews, most fires were kept small — under 1 acre in size.
For more information about the Chute Creek Fire in Idaho and other fires in Montana and across the country visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov. Stay in touch with us through www.facebook.com/DiscoverBitterrootNF and www.twitter.com/BitterrootNF.